SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, recently supported a measure to update Illinois statute by increasing the minimum mandated salary for full-time teachers. House Bill 5175 passed the House and is now under consideration in the state Senate Education Committee.
“Today, teacher salaries are not competitive with other professions that require similar degrees,” said Mussman. “This makes it harder to attract and retain our best and brightest young adults. There are more careers available today than ever before, so when college students choose to follow higher paying jobs over teaching, we struggle with teacher shortages, which translates into more limited opportunities for our children around the state.”
Mussman voted to pass House Bill 5175, which requires local school boards to pay their full-time accredited teachers a salary of at least $40,000 per school year, effective for the 2019-2020 school year. An analysis of weekly wage trends shows that teachers’ wages have fallen behind those of other workers since 1996, with teachers’ inflation-adjusted weekly wages rising just 0.8 percent, far less than the 12 percent weekly wage growth of other college graduates and of all workers.
“The daily responsibilities of full-time teachers have evolved and multiplied over the years,” said Mussman. “Teachers today are not only expected to be quality educators, but they also must be well skilled in conflict resolution, mental health evaluation, first aid, and so much more. We need to recognize the professionalism of this field and provide a level of compensation commensurate with their training.”